1961 Norton Atlas

Mar 1, 2007
I have another probably stupid question. I can purchase what I believe is a 1962 or 63 Norton Atlas parts bike for $500 from a guy locally. It has no title. I believe it has a featherbed frame that has not been tampered with but a lot of original stuff is missing. Here is what I think i will get. The complete engine on the frame with the head off but head is included. A fiberglass cafe tank, a fiberglass oil tank., a fiberglass cafe style racing seat, original fenders I think, rear wheel missing, He sent it out to a friend many years ago to get work done on it and never got it back. The front wheel included but not original (he has some other old front wheel that is better for racing but I do not remember what type it was??), original handlebar controls, original headlight I think and a lot of other stuff that went on the frame like footpegs battery box and maybe side covers, shocks & maybe original handlebars. If I decide to buy it I will be reselling it immediatly to get the $500 back to my bud who is loaning me the $ to get it. I do not intend to rebuild it. I hope to maybe make 3-$400 profit??? Do you guys think I am dreaming?? The guy is 60 years old now and bought it years ago to build a racer but never got around to it. It has all been in an old semi trailer in Dallas for years and Is not a rust bucket. Thanks again for any advise!!!
Your questions aren't stupid, just sound like you haven't had much experience with Nortons.

IF it truly is a 62 or 63 Atlas, it will be a featherbed frame. Pictures and or serial numbers would allow for a positive identification. Atlas frame serial numbers are stamped on the out side of one of the swing arm gussets, don't remember which side.

Norton enthusiasts are always looking for good featherbed frames for Norton "special" projects. so you should have no problem getting a bit more than $500 for it if in good shape.

Now if it were me, I'd take that atlas, and the other 850 commando you bought and build it into a Norton Featherlastic. Superb featherbed handling with Commando smooth vibes.

Between the commando and atlas, you would have most of the major parts to build a cafe special. Many of the commando parts can be used on the atlas with minor mods.
I personally think that $500 is a deal regardless of the condition. I would have to disagree a little with norflog76, although a Commando engine in a featherbed frame is perfectly feasible the balance factor on the crankshaft of a Commando is unsuitable for this application. The Commando gets it's smoothness from the isolastic mounting system not from a superior engine design. The combination suggested will take the fillings out of your teeth faster than a dentist on steroids. Additionally if it is a genuine Atlas it will already have a 750cc engine with the correct balance factor and would indeed make a rather nice basis for a special or a restoration back to standard. I have noticed that tanks and the like for the featherbed models seem to be more reasonably priced than those for Commandos so getting the correct parts should not be too large an expense, rear wheels or hubs seem plentiful and cheap. I will buy it myself if Mark will deliver to Hong Kong!

You obviously don't understand the concept of a featherlastic. It does indeed have isolastics. Commando engine isolastically mounted in a featherbed frame. As I said before, best of both worlds.